Network Nazis: Star Trek’s “Patterns of Force”

The original Star Trek series laudably promoted inclusiveness and provided progressive social commentary during the turbulent late-1960s. With an international and diverse crew, the USS Enterprise travels the universe guided by the Prime Directive prohibiting the Starfleet from interfering in the development of other civilizations and imposing its will on others. This principle was putContinue reading “Network Nazis: Star Trek’s “Patterns of Force””

Pre-order Planet Auschwitz (30% Discount)

Advance copies of Planet Auschwitz are on their way to me as I write this and the good people at Rutgers University Press are offering a 30% discount for pre-orders. I am happy to speak about the book any time in any venue. Just contact me at

V (1983): It can happen here

The popular 1983 SF miniseries V begins with a solemn and genuine tribute: “To the heroism of the Resistance Fighters – past, present, and future – this work is respectfully dedicated.”[i] Kenneth Johnson, a successful TV writer and producer working in several genres wanted to adopt Sinclair Lewis’ classic 1935 novel It Can’t Happen HereContinue reading “V (1983): It can happen here”

Violent Delights: The Gynoid from Metropolis (1927) to Westworld (2016 – )

The trailer for season three of Westworld reveals that the action has finally left the park for the “real world.”  Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) seems poised to bring down the corrupt civilization responsible for an atrocity like Westworld. Dolores’ transformation from the sweet and virginal farmer’s daughter to the suddenly “woke” vengeful revolutionary isContinue reading “Violent Delights: The Gynoid from Metropolis (1927) to Westworld (2016 – )”

Midsommar (2019) and The Pawnbroker (1964): Meditations on Grief

What possible connection is there between Midsommar, a 2019 horror film set in remote Sweden and The Pawnbroker, Sidney Lumet’s searing portrait of a Holocaust survivor navigating the urban decay of 1960s Brooklyn?  Midsommar director Ari Aster thinks there is one, which is why he situates a photo of Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), the protagonistContinue reading “Midsommar (2019) and The Pawnbroker (1964): Meditations on Grief”

Welcome to my blog!

Planet Auschwitz: Holocaust Representation in Science Fiction and Horror Film and Television will be published by Rutgers University Press in May 2020. As happy as I am with the final product, popular culture never stops and neither does the use (and misuse) of Holocaust imagery and storylines in the sci-fi and horror genres. This blogContinue reading “Welcome to my blog!”